If you’re seeking a unique and exciting vacation destination, a trip to Gatlinburg will surely not disappoint! Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Gatlinburg is known as “the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” It boasts spectacular mountain views, outdoor activities perfect for all ages, delicious southern cuisine, and more.
From taking a walk through history with its many preserved buildings from the 19th century or enjoying some wild rides at Dollywood Theme Park, here are some of the top things you must do when visiting this quaint little town!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
A journey to Gatlinburg is incomplete without a tour of the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s the most visited national park in the United States, and it offers something for everyone, from hiking trails to beautiful waterfalls.
The park also boasts some of the best wildlife viewing in the country, with over 1500 species of plants and animals, making it a great place to explore nature.
The park is also home to several visitor centers, museums, and educational exhibits, including the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Mountain Farm Museum, where visitors can learn about the area’s natural and cultural history. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and diversity of the Smoky Mountains.
Visit Gatlinburg Space Needle:
Space Needle is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Located at the top of a mountain, this observation tower offers 360-degree views of the majestic Smoky Mountains.
The Space Needle also features a state-of-the-art Gatlinburg webcam. It’s a live webcam that offers a breathtaking view of Gatlinburg. The webcam is at the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, a 407-foot observation tower offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Visitors can take the lift to the top and see some of the most fantastic scenery in Tennessee, including the downtown area and the mountains beyond.
Enjoy Dollywood Theme Park:
Dollywood Theme Park is another must-visit destination during your stay in Gatlinburg. This amusement park features over 40 rides, including roller coasters and water rides, as well as shows, food, crafts, and souvenirs.
Dollywood also offers several family-friendly attractions like Wildwood Grove, a six-acre area where visitors can explore nature and experience some of the park’s best rides. The park also boasts award-winning live entertainment, including the famous “Mystery Mine” show.
Dollywood also offers staying options at their resort, where you can relax and enjoy all the park offers.
Explore Local Art:
Gatlinburg has a thriving arts scene, with many galleries and local artisans to explore. Visit the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, a six-mile road filled with artisans’ galleries and studios. This community comprises over 120 independent artists and craftspeople who offer unique works of art in various media, from woodwork to pottery and glassblowing.
You can also find art galleries throughout the city, like The Historic Gatlinburg Art District, which features a variety of galleries and studios offering everything from paintings to sculptures.
Visiting the art scene in Gatlinburg is a great way to explore the area’s culture and find some unique art pieces to take home.
Take a Walk:
Gatlinburg is also a great place to take a leisurely stroll. The downtown area features several pedestrian-friendly streets lined with restaurants, boutiques, and other attractions. There are also plenty of trails outside the city that offer scenic views of the Smoky Mountains. The Gatlinburg Trail, for instance, is a 4.5-mile loop that winds through the foothills of the Smokies.
Additionally, the Gatlinburg Trail is an excellent spot for wildlife spotting, as you may spot some of the area’s native animals during your hike. Also, don’t forget to bring your camera, as the trail offers some spectacular views of the mountains.
Enjoy Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster:
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is another excellent way to explore the area. This downhill roller coaster takes you down a winding track through the mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
The coaster is designed to keep your speed under control, so you can relax and enjoy the ride while taking in the sights. The age and height requirements vary depending on the ride, so check before you get in line.
The coaster also has a track that can be enjoyed at night, giving visitors a unique experience of Gatlinburg after dark.
For those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, Ober Gatlinburg is the place to go. This popular ski and snowboard resort offers 16 slopes and trails ranging from beginner to expert and a terrain park for those who want to try something more extreme.
The resort also features an aerial tramway, which can take you up the mountain quickly and easily. At the top, visitors can explore a variety of shops, eateries, and an amusement park with a variety of rides for the whole family.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park:
The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is a great way to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains from a bird’s eye view. The park features a chairlift that takes passengers up to the top of Crockett Mountain and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
At the top of Smoky Mountain, visitors can take in the views from the SkyDeck, a spacious observation platform with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The platform is also a great spot to watch the sunset or take stunning photos of the surrounding scenery.
For those looking for a more active adventure, several hiking trails offer access to the park’s stunning natural surroundings.
Anakeesta is a theme park located in the heart of Gatlinburg. The park features family-friendly attractions, including a treetop canopy walk, a rail runner coaster, shops, and restaurants.
Anakeesta is also home to the famous Fire Tower, which offers visitors stunning views of the city from a height of over 6,000 feet. The park also features a kid-friendly play area and multiple interactive experiences to entertain the whole family.
Additionally, Anakeesta offers several dining options, including a mountaintop restaurant, a snack bar, and a sweet shop. Whether you want a quick snack or a full meal, you can enjoy your food while taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains.
Additionally, the park hosts several special events throughout the year, such as the autumn Anakeesta festival, where you can enjoy live music, food, and entertainment.
If you’re in Gatlinburg, don’t miss out on these incredible experiences! Gatlinburg has something for everyone, from enjoying the great outdoors to finding peace and relaxation.
From breathtaking views to thrilling rides and attractions, you’ll never forget your time in this beautiful mountain town. So, explore all that Gatlinburg has to offer and enjoy the experience!
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